Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin has harsh words for media outlets who published information revealed in the leaked emails from the recent Sony Pictures hack.
“As a screenwriter in Hollywood who’s only two generations removed from probably being blacklisted, I’m not crazy about Americans calling other Americans un-American, so let’s just say that every news outlet that did the bidding of the Guardians of Peace is morally treasonous and spectacularly dishonorable,” Sorkin wrote in a New York Times op-ed published Sunday night.
Sorkin, who created The West Wing and the recently concluded The Newsroom, says said media outlets reporting information form the hack are helping the hacker group that, in addition to carrying out the cyberattack that exposed confidential personal information such as medical records, also threatened the safety of Sony Pictures’ employees’ families.
A group calling itself the Guardians of Peace had threatened to reveal the documents it obtained if the studio went forward with The Interview, a comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco that follows a fictional assassination attempt on North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.
Sorkin’s name has come up in stories about the leaked emails, as several of them concern what he calls behind-the-scenes “squabbling” about the Steve Jobs biopic he’s writing. But Sorkin says justifying coverage of the stolen documents’ content as “newsworthy” is misguided.
“I understand that news outlets routinely use stolen information,” Sorkin writes. “That’s how we got the Pentagon Papers, to use an oft-used argument. But there is nothing in these documents remotely rising to the level of public interest of the information found in the Pentagon Papers.”